Retaining our FCPS Educators, solidifying math foundations, students’ athletic achievements & cultural heritage, and more!

To read this newsletter in other languages, please visit our website.

Para leer este boletín en otros idiomas, visite nuestro sitio web.

ይህንን ዜና መፅሄት በሌሎች ቋንቋዎች ለማንበብ፤ እባክዎን ድረ ገፃችንን ይጎብኙ

이 소식지를 다른 언어로 읽으려면, 우리 웹사이트를 방문하시기 바랍니다.

.يرجى زيارة موقعنا الألكتروني لقراءة هذه النشرة الإخبارية بلغات أخرى

Note: This newsletter contains links to translated versions of the content for your convenience. These translations are generated by Google Translate and are not intended to be a substitute for professional translation services.

Dear Community Members,

Here we are, in the fourth and final quarter of this school year! For many, the schedules kept and plans made during the year really start to come to fruition now. It’s exciting and intense, and can be unique yet also familiar. The big goal remains the same, though: Support our students academically, physically, mentally, and socially as they work with educators and staff in these waning months ahead. Family support remains critical, so please let’s work together to remain positive and all-in for this 2023-24 school year!

I hope to see you as I visit schools for different athletic events, musical concerts, theater performances, classroom visits, or otherwise around our community – you can see below where I’ve been the last few weeks, out and about in Hunter Mill.

In this newsletter...

School Board Updates and Recent Work

New Literacy Materials Approved for Grades K-6

Benchmark Advance Adelante logi

As mentioned in my March 8 newsletter, the School Board approved the adoption of a new literacy program for FCPS students in grades K-6, called "Benchmark Advanced". These materials will begin to be used in the next school year – beginning Fall 2024.

I have closely followed and engaged in this process, because early literacy and mastery of literacy is a core interest of mine – going back to when I began my career in 2002 at the US Department of Education working on this exact topic!

This literacy program does several things:

  • Ensures that all students in K through 6 are instructed via the “science of reading” approach, which is proven to be the strongest approach to ensure literacy mastery. 
  • Aligns literacy instruction across the entire school division, for teaching strategies and thematic content.
  • The content is designed to build knowledge, vocabulary, and perspectives via thematic units across grade bands.
  • Meets the requirements of the Virginia Literacy Act.
  • Adjustments can be made to best instruct our Students with Disabilities and our English Language Learners.

Learn more about the process and selection of Benchmark by watching this presentation from FCPS' Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Services.

Please also take a listen to my remarks when I moved the motion to adopt!

ERFC Plan Design Changes

Retaining our experienced educators and staff is critical for students to receive the best education. As such, I voted in support to approve the following proposed plan design changes to the Educational Employees' Supplementary Retirement System of Fairfax County (ERFC):

  • DROP Plan for Legacy Employees
    • The addition of a DROP program for Legacy members will allow employees to receive the maximum ERFC contribution while continuing to work at FCPS for the required 30 years to maximize VRS contributions. 
  • Sick Leave Credit
    • The Legacy ERFC program allows unused sick leave balances to be credited as retirement service. The ERFC 2001 Plan (Tier I & Tier 2) does not. A comparable provision is proposed for ERFC 2001 (Tier I & Tier 2) service credit. Fairfax County allows unused sick leave to be credited as service time, upon retirement. Approximately 6,000 FCPS employees are in the FCERS plan.

      Providing Sick Leave Credit to ERFC 2001 (Tier I & Tier 2) members aims to incentivize employees to preserve sick leave, thereby enhancing their retirement benefits. This change also will potentially reduce the number of sick leave days employees use, which will reduce the number of substitute teachers needed.

  • Working after Retirement
    • Implementing the Work after Retirement (WAR) plan will support teacher retirement and retention efforts with an emphasis on critical shortage positions. After the required 6-month break, employees could be rehired into one-year-only positions, which must be renewed annually. 

Additionally, the School Board approved a follow-on motion stating that if the funds for this program do not remain in the budget, the board will prioritize the funds for the DROP program at year end.

While there was much discussion around the vote, I objected to delaying any decision on these important changes. I trust the Superintendent's knowledge of the market of educators and staff and her assessment of HR trends and in retaining educators. Teachers want to see support from the school division now. I want to see our Board consider available options at every step of the way to recruit and retain staff.

Fiscal Year 2024 Third Quarter Budget Review Approved 

I voted in support of approving the Fiscal Year 2024 Third Quarter Budget Review during the March 21 School Board Meeting. This review is taking a look at FCPS' current FY 2024 Budget, reporting on activity and recommendations made since the FY 2024 Midyear Budget review, approved on December 14, 2023. 

The School Operating Funds available are increasing by $3.2 million due to a settled class-action lawsuit against a vaping company. Recommended expenditure adjustments include funding to install security scanning technology at select high schools and reallocation of one-time funding to support enhanced summer learning programs.

Academic Matters

Literacy Development for Multilingual Learners

Our school division is committed to reviewing, reflecting, and refining our practices as our understanding of how to best meet the needs of each and every one of our students and families evolves. When referring to students who access English language services, FCPS and many other school divisions have historically used the term “English learners.”

Recently, educators and education associations across the nation have begun to instead use terms like “Emergent Bilingual” or “Multilingual Learner.” These “asset-based” terms acknowledge that our students should not be defined by their lack of fluency in English. Instead, we can use language which makes it clear that English fluency is something these students are gaining atop their existing language skills, rather than a deficit they are overcoming.

With this in mind, FCPS is shifting our language to “Multilingual Learner” and away from “ESOL student,” “ESL student,” and “Second-language learner.” It’s important to know that “English learner” is still used for demographic data at the state and federal level, so it will continue to be used for some accountability metrics and reporting. In speaking with different stakeholders regarding this change, it was made clear that this isn’t just a change in semantics. Rather, it is a fundamental aligning in how we want our multilingual students and families to perceive FCPS: a place where their voices are welcomed, their strengths are valued, and their cultures are honored.

During the Academic Matters segment of the March 7 School Board Meeting, Superintendent Reid presented information on literacy development for multilingual learners in FCPS. View those presentation materials here.

Multilingual learners presentation slide FCPS demographics


Strengthening Numeracy in the Primary Grades

During the March 21 Academic matters segment, Dr. Reid shared how FCPS is strengthening numeracy in the primary grades

FCPS has been investing in professional development through Add+Vantage Math Recovery © (AVMR) and our educators are using a scripted intervention curriculum to support numeracy instruction. The division currently has at least one AVMR trained teacher in each elementary school. These educators are trained to help students build flexibility with foundational numeracy – the ability to apply math concepts in the real world – observe student behaviors to make instructional decisions, and provide instruction that is targeted at the edge of the child's current knowledge - accelerating their learning. Younger AVMR students get to use different things like blocks and toys to understand math in the real world. They also learn by asking questions, practicing math, and talking about different ways to solve problems. View AVMR Instructional Practices at Bailey's Primary.

Why is Numeracy Important presentation slide

Monthly Recognitions 

One of the ways that the School Board honors FCPS students, staff, and the community is through voting on School Board Proclamations. They are used to acknowledge various things including, but not limited to, achievements, partnerships, and national heritages and holidays.

March was a jam-packed month with many things to celebrate and several more coming up this month! Recently, I was pleased to vote in support of several proclamations including the Board's first-ever proclamation recognizing March 18-24 as Neurodiversity Affirmation Week. New staff-designed posters (see below) to educate about and affirm neurodivergence have been delivered to the main office at every school!

Neurodiversity poster


During the same March 21 meeting, the Board also approved the Music, Theatre and Arts Appreciation Proclamation, and the Read Across America and Library Recognition Month Proclamation.

During the March 7 meeting, the Board approved a proclamation to recognize March as Women's History Month, with the 2024 theme being "Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion". Additionally, the Board recognized March as National Disabilities Awareness Month, renewing FCPS' commitment to inclusion for all individuals with disabilities in our schools and communities.

Read Across America and Library Proclamation

Fairfax County School Board Members, staff, and community members gathered to celebrate the Read Across America and Library Recognition Month Proclamation.

National Assistant Principals Week

National Assistant Principals Week, celebrated from April 1-5, serves as a dedicated time to recognize and appreciate the invaluable contributions of assistant principals in the educational landscape. Assistant principals play a pivotal role in shaping student success by managing a wide array of responsibilities that ensure the smooth operation of schools and the well-being of students.

Assistant Principal Week


Easter observance student design

I hope those who observed had a meaningful Easter holiday, it was a gorgeous spring day in Fairfax! This year’s Easter artwork was created by Falls Church High School student Dayanara M.

Eid al-Fitr

Eid al-Fitr Observance Design Challenge student graphic

In Islam, Eid-al-Fitr is a three-day festival to mark the end of Ramadan. Muslims dress in new clothes, give to charity, and pray in congregation. Eid is celebrated with the exchange of presents and delicious food with family and friends. Read more at

Tuesday, April 9, is an evening observance day. There is school on this day, but important events will not be held after school. Wednesday, April 10, is an FCPS holiday; all schools and offices will be closed.

Month of the Military Child 

Month of the Military Child FCPS graphic

April is the Month of the Military Child! Every year we take the opportunity to recognize military-connected youth for their service and contribution to our community. FCPS is proud to have over 14,000 military-connected youth as a part of our student body. We appreciate the varied life experiences they bring to our school community, and recognize their strength and resilience. Learn more about Month of the Military Child and FCPS’ resources for military families.

Autism Acceptance Month 

Autism Acceptance Month

April is Autism Acceptance Month. One in 44 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder in the United States, according to the CDC.

ASD is known as a “spectrum” disorder because there is wide variation in the type and severity of symptoms people experience. 

Our schools and staff play a vital role in creating and ensuring inclusive environments that accommodate and affirm autistic students.

National Arab American Heritage Month 

National Arab American Heritage Month

FCPS is proud to celebrate National Arab American Heritage Month in April. This special month provides an opportunity to recognize the history and valuable contributions of Arab Americans. Arab Americans have ancestry in one of the world’s 22 Arab nations, which are located from northern Africa through western Asia. The people of these nations are ethnically, politically, and religiously diverse but share a common cultural and linguistic heritage.

National Muslim American Heritage Month 

Muslim American Heritage Month

Muslim American Heritage Month is a time for celebrating the history, contributions, culture, and an enhanced understanding of the diverse population of Muslim Americans. Nearly 1/4 of the world population share a common Muslim heritage and traditions, spanning from Southeast Asia to North America; yet Muslim Americans are one of the most racially diverse faith groups in the nation, a diversity reflected in the student body of FCPS, where three of the division's ten most widely spoken languages are Muslim-majority languages. 

Upcoming School Board Meetings 

  • Thursday, April 11, 7pm: Regular Meeting
    • Action scheduled: Strategic Plan Goal 5 Baseline Report
    • Financial Administration (Executive Limitation 6)
  • Tuesday, April 16, 10:30am: Forum
    • Enhancement of Policy 1802 by introducing an alternative Student Representative role

  • Tuesday, April 16, 11:30am: Work Session
    • Fiscal Year 2023 Audit Report
    • Special Education Enhancement Plan 
  • Thursday, April 25, 7pm: Regular Meeting
    • Action scheduled: Strategic Plan Goal 2 Report
    • Action scheduled: Special Education Enhancement Plan

Accessing Board Meetings 

The work sessions and regular meetings will be broadcast live on Channel 99 (Verizon channel 11) and the FCPS website. Both will be recorded for future viewing and posted to the FCPS School Board YouTube channel.

Visit the community participation webpage to sign up to speak at a regular meeting. Visit BoardDocs for more meeting logistics, agendas, and handouts.

Interested in School Board action items? Sign up to get an update on School Board votes the morning after the School Board meeting.

For Spanish speakers, watch recorded School Board meetings or to watch live during the Regular Meetings on YouTube, you may visit the FCPS en Espanol YouTube channel or scan the QR code.

  QR code for spanish speakers

Fairfax County School Board

Hunter Mill Happenings 

Student Athletes Triumph in State Championships

Congratulations to all the FCPS student-athletes who participated in the 2024 winter sports season. 4 teams and 36 individuals won the Virginia High School League (VHSL) Class 6 championship in their respective sports, and five teams and 36 individuals were the state runners-up. 

A major shout out to the South Lakes HS Boys Basketball team and the South Lakes HS Girl Indoor Track team for being the state champions! 

The following Hunter Mill athletes/teams also won individual Class 6 championship titles:

  • Marleigh daSilva, Madison HS, Swim and Dive, Girls 1 Meter Diving
  • Johanna Stuard, Westfield HS, Indoor Track and Field, Girls High Jump
  • Caroline Elliott, South Lakes HS, Indoor Track and Field, Girls 1000 Meter Run and Girls 1600 Meter Run
  • South Lakes HS Girls 4x800 Meter Relay, Indoor Track and Field
  • South Lakes HS Boys 4x400 Meter Relay, Indoor Track and Field
South Lakes HS Boys Basketball team and Girls Indoor Track team


Inside the Halls of a High School Model Congress

Oakton High School held its annual Model Congress for the senior class. Thanks to Mr. Waxman and educators for elevating civics education with this simulated experience. It was the most hopeful I’ve felt about “Congress” for a while!

Photos from Oakton Model Congress event


Science and Engineering Fair

FCPS students are breaking boundaries with their innovative solutions! 400 students presented their research projects in various science and engineering fields at the 69th annual Fairfax County Regional Science and Engineering Fair. The Grand Prize Winners are eligible to participate in the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair in May.

A special congratulations to the Grand Prize Winners from the Hunter Mill District:

  • Wesley Kang, Madison High School
    • Earth and Environmental Sciences: A Novel Mathematical Model To Predict Wastewater Induced Earthquakes
  • Valeria Novoa, Madison High School
    • Energy: Sustainable Materials and Design: Optimizing Graphitic Carbon Nitride to Create a Safe, Effective, and Economic form of Hydrogen Storage
FCPS Science and Engineering Fair Winners with Superintendent Dr. Reid


Students "Find Their Language" in Inclusive Fine Arts Class

Art educator with student

Art is for everyone, and students can rise to the expectations and opportunities before them. This is clear from the Inclusive Fine Art class at South Lakes High School! The class is empowering students with intellectual disabilities and neurotypical peers to "find their language" through art. This collaborative class is fostering an inclusive environment where every student can thrive and showcase their unique talents. Read the stories behind these unique works of art.

I am so pleased to have shared this story with FCPS communications staff, who have now featured in this article what’s happening so more can know it - and also seek to replicate it!

Upcoming Pyramid Student Art Shows

I thoroughly enjoyed viewing student art from the South Lakes Pyramid, on display at the Reston Community Center. 

The Madison Pyramid Art Show will be held on Thursday, April 18th from 5:30-7pm at Madison High School. Come by and see the art created by our talented pyramid students!

Madison Pyramid Art Show
Herndon Pyramid Art Show flyer

The Herndon Pyramid Art Show opening reception will be held on Friday, April 5, from 6-8pm at the Herndon United Methodist Church. 

2D art will be on display until April 26 and 3D art will be on display until April 10.


Herndon HS Heritage Night and Upcoming Step Team Show

Herndon High School hosted its Heritage Night, and it was such a gorgeous array of culture shown through food, performing arts, fashion, and more. The students did an outstanding job making it all happen. I was especially excited to see the Step Team perform again, who will be holding its 30th Anniversary Celebration Yard Show on Friday, April 19. The event will be from 6-8pm in the Herndon HS gym and cafeteria. Enjoy performances by the HHS Step Team, guest performances from D9 Members, other live music and entertainment, and a reception with cake and refreshments! Purchase tickets here

Herndon HS Step Team

Cedar Lane Gym Dedicated to Honor Tom Lundy

Melanie Meren with Tom Lundy

I was incredibly excited to be part of the gym renaming event at Cedar Lane School, now known as the Tom Lundy Gym! In November, I proposed the renaming proclamation to the Board, and now seeing it come to fruition brings me immense joy. Mr. Lundy's impact on Cedar Lane spans over two decades, from starting as an intern to leading the school through the challenges of the pandemic as its principal. He is undeniably cherished by the community.


Hunter Mill Students Are Environmental Stewards

Melanie Meren with Hughes MS Students

While at Langston Hughes Middle School recently, I met these students on their way to the local stream. They were going to measure the nitrogen in the water as part of their data collection for their proposed project through the Caring for our Watersheds competition, an annual activity in which many FCPS students and schools participate. It's hosted by Earth Force. The team has been selected as one of the top projects for their idea on how to protect and rebuild the local watershed - which is critical for our clean water and habitat - and so they will present their work at the annual Student Environmental Action Showcase (SEAS) on Thursday, April 18.

These programs have a special place in my heart because I helped expand them in Fairfax years before I joined the School Board! I'll be at SEAS to kick it off, and I can't wait to see students from Langston, Hunter Mill, and anywhere in Fairfax, gathered to focus on environmental sciences and education.

Melanie with Marshall Road ES students at compost celebration

Marshall Road Elementary School celebrated one year of composting! Overall, they have diverted 6 tons of food scraps from going into landfills!! Peer support really made this possible, with students taking the initiative to encourage each other at lunch time to compost their leftovers.


Multicultural Night at Crossfield ES

Crossfield International Night

An incredible Multicultural Night was hosted by the Crossfield Elementary School community - AKA, “Crossfield United”.

The newly updated gym was filled with children and adults - students, staff, family members, students’ siblings. Such a generosity of spirit was shared by way of giving food, talking, and learning together.

I ate delicious food from Indian cuisine, featuring a variety of foods made from millet flour! I also ate a delicious pastry and sipped hibiscus tea and coffee, from a family featuring many cultures from Northern Africa/ the Middle East/ the Levant. I was delighted to chat with an FCPS grad there with her family.

Entertainment by students followed. The hallways of the school were covered with students’ artwork - the amazing art teacher made sure that every student had a piece on display! I really really enjoyed reading students’ descriptions of their work - including their artist approach, what they thought they could’ve done better and what they thought they did well.

Thank you to the community and staff for being so generous and engaged. Strong schools make a strong community!

Iftar Dinner at Forest Edge Elementary

SADA Iftar Dinner group picture

We have a Sudanese American community in the Hunter Mill district, whose members I’ve gotten to know as I represent them on the School Board. I was humbled and delighted to join them for a Ramadan Iftar dinner (the breaking of the daily fast), held at none other than our Forest Edge Elementary School. The cafeteria was transformed to a special celebration space, filled with kids and adults, and so much delicious food!

The Sudanese American at Dulles Area (SADA) community group hosted the gathering and feast. I met many adults who not only live nearby and send their kids to FCPS, but who also work in our schools! While many members are in Reston, some come from miles away to gather.

Joining at Forest Edge was Interim Principal Sharamaine Williams and Hunter Mill Supervisor Walter Alcorn.

The generosity of this community continues with another large Iftar dinner like this one and then a final Eid celebration on Wednesday, April 10 (for which FCPS is closed in observance).

Hunter Mill Students Are Hopeful Because...

National PTA Reflections Poster

The Fairfax County Council Parent Teacher Association (FCCPTA), in conjunction with the National Parent Teacher Association, held its annual Reflections Art Program providing opportunities for recognition and access to arts. This year’s theme, I am Hopeful Because…produced entries in dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography, and visual arts for students in PreK through 12.

Many Hunter Mill students received Outstanding Interpretation Awards, Awards of Excellence, and Awards of Merit! The following Outstanding Interpretation Award recipients will be advancing to the National Level Reflections Awards - winners will be announced on May 1. See the full list of student recipients.

2024 Student Peace Award Recipients

The Student Peace Awards of Fairfax County recently held their annual celebration to recognize young people who work as peacemakers. 

This project began in 2006 as a way to encourage people to think more about peace as both a means and an end and to recognize young people who work as peacemakers. Every year, the high schools in Fairfax County are asked to select one junior or senior, or a group of students, whose work has promoted peace. The project is organized by volunteers and funded by donations from 17 secular and religious sponsoring organizations.

Congratulations to the 2024 recipients including the following Hunter Mill District students:

  • Sophie Massoudi, Madison High School

    • After seeing news programs about the war in Ukraine and its devastating effects on the residents, Sophie and her sister made 850 bracelets with letters spelling out PEACE and raised $6,500, which she donated to the US-Ukraine Foundation, a non-profit organization which provides humanitarian and economic aid, including emergency medical equipment, to Ukraine.  

      In addition to her bracelet project, Sophie started a Help the Homeless Club at Madison High School, which collects food and clothing and assembles care packages which they deliver to the Embry Rucker Shelter in Reston.

  • Virginia Banton, South Lakes High School

    • Virginia is the president of the South Lakes Best Buddies Club, which is dedicated to supporting the needs of students with intellectual and developmental challenges. Participating students are paired with volunteers to socialize and to work on projects together. 

      As president, Virginia has worked to foster supportive relationships for students to thrive and learn together, and to eliminate the bullying that often confronts this community. Virginia feels that the existence and visibility of the Best Buddies Club help the general student population be more open, and possibly even friendlier.

Recognizing Employees Who Go Above and Beyond

FCPS Cares

Kim Schauer, an educator at Hughes Middle School was recently recognized as an FCPS CARES of the Month recipient.

FCPS Cares is an opportunity for parents, staff and community members to recognize those who go above and beyond to help others and show they care.

Ms. Schauer's persistent efforts secured the R3 project grant for the Langston Hughes MS community. Through her leadership, 7th grade students engaged in hands-on learning about native plants and environmental stewardship. Ms. Schauer's passion extends to colleagues, students, and the community, fostering collaboration and environmental awareness.

A Constituent's Path to Principalship

Hunter Mill constituent, Courtney Korb was recently named the new principal of Olde Creek Elementary School! Ms. Korb is in her 11th year serving as a school administrator. Previously, she served as an assistant principal at Fairhill ES and an assistant principal at Camelot ES. Ms. Korb began her educational career as an enhanced autism teacher and learning disabilities teacher in multiple FCPS elementary schools. 

Olde Creek Elementary School Administration Team

Madison Coach Inducted Into NoVA Football Hall of Fame 

Chairman McKay and David Hall with award

David Hall, a longtime Madison High School and Vienna Youth coach, was recently inducted into the Northern Virginia Football Hall of Fame! An annual banquet is held to recognize Hall of Fame inductees, as well as current football players, coaches, officials, administrators, and other individuals exhibiting outstanding dedication to the sport from both the scholastic and youth club ranks.

Donations Needed at Madison HS

Spring cleaning?  Looking to get rid of old towels?  Madison High School custodians are in need of towels this summer when they strip and clean floors in the school building.  Donations can be dropped off in the main office.

Upcoming Events and Opportunities to Engage

Volunteer for Walk In My Shoes at Wolftrap Elementary

tennis shoes graphic

Walk In My Shoes is returning to Wolftrap Elementary School! Please take some time to consider volunteering for this wonderful event . Walk In My Shoes (WIMS) is an all-volunteer run nonprofit organization that develops programs that teach about inclusion, empathy, and accessibility. Ms. Mary Beth Hazelgrove has been organizing this event for the past few years at Wolftrap. She has recently been awarded a SEPTA grant to fund kits for the primary grades. This program is a wonderful way for parents, teachers, counselors, librarians, and other school staff to collaborate to create something meaningful and memorable for the students. The program benefits everyone involved, from the students who learn how they can be more inclusive, to the volunteers get to see important learning happening in front of their eyes. The program is especially meaningful to students with challenges, and uplifts parents whose greatest hope is that their children will feel welcome and safe at school so they may thrive. The event this year is April 8th-12th, and the sign up link is here

Lexia Parent Information Night 

student at laptop wearing headphones

FCPS funds the use of Lexia for all elementary and middle schools as part of their literacy instruction. Lexia is a computer-based program that supplements classroom instruction to help students develop literacy skills. It also provides teachers with data to identify students who need additional support and the ability to know which specific concepts and skills to prioritize.

Attend a virtual information night on Tuesday, April 9, to learn more about Lexia and how FCPS is integrating it into the classroom to support student growth. Participants will also get tips for supporting their students at home. Integrating Lexia into the literacy curriculum aligns with the Virginia Literacy Act, FCPS’ Equitable Access to Literacy, and FCPS’ 2023-30 Strategic Plan Goal 3, which aims to have all students reading on level by the end of third grade.

Our Schools, Our Future: Community Conversations Continue

Superintendent Reid talking with students

Join Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid for Our Schools, Our Future – A Community Conversation. Your voice matters! Share your thoughts about FCPS and bring your questions to a conversation on:


  • Tuesday, April 16, 6:30-7:30pm, Graham Road Elementary School.
  • Tuesday, April 30, 6:30-7:30pm, South County Middle School.
  • Thursday, May 2, 6:30-7:30pm, Terraset Elementary School.
  • Wednesday, May 8, 6:30-7:30pm, Hybla Valley Elementary School.
  • Thursday, May 16, 6:30-7:30pm, Poe Middle School.
  • Tuesday, May 21, 6:30-7:30pm, Katherine Johnson Middle School.

Pre-registration for a Community Conversation is not required but will help FCPS plan. Childcare and interpretation services will be provided for all events based on staff availability. Events are open to all. 

Safe, Supported, and Included — FCPS Family Summit 2024

The FCPS Family Summit will take place on Saturday, April 20, 8:30am-1pm, at Marshall High School. The conference will cover topics that are helpful for all families, such as social-emotional resources, along with a specially curated online component to provide supports for students with disabilities and their families. 

Some of the topics include raising resilient, independent children; forming meaningful connections with children; addressing big emotions; and the dangers of opioids and fentanyl. The conference is being planned by several FCPS offices in collaboration with the Fairfax Alliance of Black School Educators, Black Women’s Educational Alliance - DC Chapter, Hispanic Educators Association, and Asian Educators Association. 

This year’s theme is Safe, Supported, and Included, which aligns with Goal 2 of FCPS’ 2023-30 Strategic Plan. More details will be available after spring break.

Volunteers Needed for Earth Day Event 

Young adult Earth Day volunteers at check in table

Calling all volunteers! Participate in Fairfax County's largest official Earth Day Event on Saturday, April 20, at Sully Historic Site in Chantilly, Virginia.

Earth Day Fairfax is a daylong extravaganza featuring games, entertainment, exhibits, workshops, vendors and activities geared toward increasing our understanding and enjoyment of the world around us. The event attracts nearly 5,000 people from across Fairfax County annually. Volunteers are needed to fill shifts throughout the day in a variety of capacities, including:

  • Set-up attendants
  • Check-in greeters
  • Nature and recreation activity attendants
  • Guest assistance

All volunteers must be 15 years of age or older. Multiple shifts are available to accommodate scheduling needs. For additional detail in individual volunteer opportunities and to sign up, visit the Earth Day Fairfax volunteer webpage

Community Forums on Middle School Start Times

FCPS is exploring options for adjusting middle school start times and invites the public to be part of the process. 

Community forums will take place in April and May. Prismatic Services, Inc., an educational consulting firm, will lead the forums. All forums will deliver the same presentation and provide the same feedback opportunities. Please attend the event that works best for your schedule: 

Alarm clock graphic

Registration is not required, but it does help with planning. Click the location of the event to register. Language interpretation and childcare will be provided. Learn more about the project exploring middle school start times

April Webinars and Events for Families

The FCPS Family Resource Center offers free webinars for adults to support the success of all students, including those with learning challenges, special needs, and disabilities. Upcoming events include:

Click the linked titles above to register. Learn more about FRC webinars and events.

How the Family Resource Center can support you

Additional Information of Interest 

Updated COVID Recommendations

In accordance with the updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) respiratory virus guidance, FCPS and the Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) have updated school COVID-19 recommendations.

The COVID-19 isolation period of five days is no longer recommended

New respiratory virus guidance applies to respiratory viral illnesses, including COVID-19, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Students who have symptoms of, test positive for, or have been diagnosed with a respiratory virus may return to school when the student is fever-free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication; AND the student’s symptoms have improved or resolved. 

Students should follow additional precautions as outlined per the CDC upon resumption of normal activities. 

Should I Send My Child to School?

Please refer to the chart on this attendance webpage if your child is experiencing symptoms or illnesses, and you are unsure if they should go to school. 

Thank you for helping keep our students and staff healthy!

Kindergarten Registration and Resources

Kindergarten student

It's that time of year again!  FCPS is currently registering rising Kindergarten students for the 24-25 school year. Please share the word with any new neighbors or families of rising kindergarten students. 

Fairfax County public schools typically conduct kindergarten registration events, including orientation, in the spring. Eligible children can also be registered throughout the summer, but registering your child earlier helps schools plan, so they will have the teachers and resources they need for your child on the first day of school. 

After determining which school their child will attend, families should prepare for registration by gathering documents and completing forms. All families can get support with registration and the transition to kindergarten. For more information in other languages, visit the Kindergarten Registration webpage.

Resources on Kindergarten

Apply for 2024-25 PreK and Early Head Start 

FCPS PreK and Early Head Start is also now accepting applications for School Year 2024-25! PreK prioritizes 4-year-old applicants but also accepts applications for children 3 years old by September 30th. Early Head Start accepts applications from pregnancy to 2 years old. Both programs are for income eligible families. Apply for FCPS PreK and Early Head Start here.

If you have questions, email:; visit the PreK office (7423 Camp Alger Avenue, Falls Church) or call: 703-208-7900.

Athletic Physicals for Middle School Sports

Athletic physicals are required for middle and high school student-athletes. Beginning May 1, 2024, FCPS high schools will offer athletic pre-participation physical exams for students interested in middle school sports during the 2024-25 school year. These events serve as the primary fundraiser for high school athletic training programs and each exam costs $50. Rising middle school students are eligible to receive a physical at no cost although donations to the HS athletic training program are welcomed.

Pre-registration is highly encouraged; walk-in appointments may not be available. You can register here: student registration. Once your registration is received, the school’s athletic trainer will contact you to confirm your appointment time. Athletic physical exams must be completed on this form: FCPS Middle School Sports Athletic Participation/Parental Consent/Physical Examination Form (PPE).

If you are a medical professional (MD, DO, NP, PA, ATC, PT, EMT, etc.) interested in volunteering your time in support of these events, please register to help out: Volunteer registration.

Nominations Open for the Bussey Memorial Equity Award

Dr. Lawrence Bussey

The Minority Student Achievement Oversight Committee (MSAOC) sponsors the Dr. Lawrence Bussey Memorial Equity Award to honor Dr. Bussey’s legacy as a founding member of the MSAOC and longtime advocate for students and families. 

This award recognizes staff or community members who have demonstrated significant and impactful efforts to improve the educational experiences and outcomes of students from groups who are marginalized or underserved.

Any FCPS employee, student, or community member can nominate an individual or group for the award. All nomination materials must be submitted by Wednesday, May 1. The winner will be recognized at the FCPS Equity Symposium on Tuesday, June 18.

Full details and the nomination information form are available on the Dr. Lawrence Bussey Memorial Equity Award webpage.

Boolean Girl - Newest Ignite Partner

Boolean girl logo

Fairfax County Public Schools has established a new Ignite Partnership with Boolean Girl, a not-for-profit whose mission is to diversify STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning by providing all students, including girls and students who are underrepresented in STEM or economically disadvantaged, with greater access to computer science and engineering lessons.

Boolean Girl works specifically with students in grades three through eight by offering meaningful, hands-on instruction in camps and classes. They also support districts through the implementation of the Micro: bit for All program. A micro: bit is a pocket-sized computer that introduces students to the ways hardware and software work together.

Student Opportunities

Disclaimer: Opportunities offered by organizations other than Fairfax County Public Schools are neither sponsored nor endorsed by the Fairfax County School Board, the Superintendent, or a specific school. These opportunities may utilize technology tools not assessed by the Fairfax County Public Schools Department of Information Technology. Students should gain permission from their parents or guardians before engaging in any non-FCPS enrichment opportunity. Families should review the Terms of Service, User Agreements, and Privacy Policy for any technology platform the enrichment opportunity may use before participating.

Northern Virginia Regional College Fair

The Office of Admissions at George Mason University invites you to join them for the 37th annual Northern Virginia Regional College Fair (NVRCF)! You will have the opportunity to meet with admissions representatives from more than 200 colleges and universities. 

Northern Virginia Regional College Fair  

Wednesday, April 10, 2024, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. 

EagleBank Arena, George Mason University – Fairfax Campus  

You are encouraged to pre-register at:

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Parking is available, free of charge, in Parking Lots A and L, directly across from EagleBank Arena. To view a campus map, click here.

For more information regarding this college fair, visit the NVRCF landing page. If you have any questions about this event, please email the George Mason Admissions Events Team directly at

NOVA Orientation for Students with Disabilities

Northern Virginia Community College logo

FCPS and Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) are offering an opportunity for students with disabilities interested in attending NOVA to learn about available options. The orientation will include presentations from Accommodations and Accessibility Services and Counseling Services, a mock NOVA classroom experience for students, and a NOVA student panel with Q&A session. It will be held at NOVA’s Annandale Campus on Wednesday, April 17th from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Register online.

Affordable Housing Educational Scholarships

The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) scholarships applications are open! These $5,000 scholarships are designed to promote postsecondary education and technical training for Fairfax County residents who live in affordable housing supported by the FCRHA. Please ensure you meet all eligibility criteria and submit all required documents  All applications must be received no later than Tuesday, April 30, 2024, by 4:30 p.m. Learn more here.

Thomas Jefferson Techstravaganza Student STEM Event

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology is gearing up for their annual Techstravaganza on Saturday, May 18!

From hands-on activities to mind-blowing demonstrations, Techstravaganza inspires students to explore their passion for STEM. Past exhibitors include NASA, Robotics for Youth, and the American Society for Naval Engineers. This is a self-paced event, so students are free to visit whichever booths interest them! Students can look forward to raffles, merchandise, and goodie bags. Learn more and register here.

TJ Techstravaganza STEM flyer

Coursera Career Academy Program

The FCPS Department of Information Technology has partnered with Coursera to provide an exclusive opportunity for high school students to access the Coursera Career Academy Catalog. Students may explore exciting career paths and gain access to over 30 professional certifications from industry leaders, all at no cost.

Browse the FCPS Student Academy Catalog and join the program today by following the below steps.

  1. Complete the Student Interest Form
  2. Obtain permission from parent/guardian to access Coursera

Questions? Contact Scott Simmons at

These courses are not VDOE-recognized industry credentials and do not contribute to high school graduation requirements. This limited program operates on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Summer Camps and Learning Programs 


Madison High School Debate Camp

Madison HS Debate Camp Flyer


Extended School Year Services Program

Information regarding the Fairfax County Public School Extended School Year (ESY) services program is now available on our ESY web page.

ESY services are provided to students with disabilities, whose individualized education program (IEP) team has determined they require a program of special education and related services in excess of the regular school year.

  • The ESY direct, class-based program will take place from July 1 – July 26, 2024. 
  • Specific information about direct, class-based ESY including sites, bell schedules, feeder schools, and FAQs are also posted on the ESY web page.
  • If you have questions about whether your child requires these services, please reach out to your child’s special education case manager. 
  • If you have any additional questions, please reach out to  

Summer Camp for Middle Schoolers

All rising seventh and eighth graders are invited to attend a summer of fun and leisure with VIP (Value in Prevention) Camp. 

VIP Camp takes place from Monday, July 1, to Thursday, August 1. It is designed to encourage teens to develop healthy and positive interests and features a wide variety of leisure activities and programs. The cost is $100 to attend. Please reach out to your school’s after-school specialist for scholarship availability due to financial hardship. Register here.

FCPS and Fairfax County’s Department of Neighborhood and Community Services sponsor VIP Camp.

Before- and After-School Care

SACC School Aged Child Care logo

Fairfax County Government’s School Age Child Care (SACC) program provides fun, safe, and educational care for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. Care is available before school, after school, and during school breaks in select Fairfax County public elementary schools and community centers. 

SACC registration is now open for the 2024-25 school year and the Camp Fairfax summer program.

Teens in Action Summer Camp

The Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services offers affordable, engaging, and healthy recreation programs for students aged 12-18 when schools are closed. Teens in Action youth participate in team sports, games, arts and crafts, STEM (science, engineering, and math) programming, service projects, field trips, and more. Admission for both camps is free.

The Summer Camp takes place Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., and is separated by age group. Rising 9-12 graders attend camp from June 17- August 16, 2024, and rising 7th and 8th graders attend June 17-28, 2024, and August 2-16, 2024. Find more information and register on the Teens in Action web page.

Job Opportunities 

Food and Nutrition Hiring

Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) will be hosting a job fair on Wednesday, April 17, 1-2:30pm, at the Office of Food and Nutrition Services

No registration is needed. For more information or general questions, contact FNS at 703-813-4800 or

Transportation Services Hiring

The Office of Transportation Services will be hosting bus driver job fairs from 10am to 2pm on the following dates: 

This is a great opportunity for stay-at-home parents to earn income with benefits (and bring your preschooler to work with you!), as well as for retirees, college students, or career switchers.

No registration is needed to attend. Apply today! Contact 571-423-3000 or with questions.

Contacting Me

I prioritize responses to Hunter Mill constituents, so please be sure to identify yourself as such if you contact me. If you are unsure of your county magisterial district, you can look that information up here.

To contact me, it is most helpful to please use the official School Board contact form via my website (click "Submit a Question"). This form prioritizes emails to me from constituents, and helps me track communication so I can be sure you receive a response. Thank you for your cooperation.


Melanie Meren


Was this email not addressed to you? Sign up for my newsletters here!

The views contained within this newsletter reflect the views of the individual school board member who is the publisher of this newsletter and may not reflect the views of the Fairfax County School Board.

© Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax County, Virginia